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Ducey veto of powdered alcohol ban clears way for sale in Arizona

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Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a bill that would have banned the sale or use of powdered alcohol.

In his veto letter for HB2178, Ducey said he has seen no evidence that the bill is necessary. The governor also said he has instructed the director of the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control review its administrative rules to ensure that powdered alcohol is regulated to the same extent as other alcoholic beverages.

Several states have contemplated similar bans since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of powdered alcohol in 2014.

“As with any new product, it makes sense to monitor its impact on public health and safety,” Ducey said in his veto letter.

HB2178 also would have amended laws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in public places to exclude people who consume wine from “broken packages” – a container in which the tax seal has been broken, or the cap, cork or seal has been removed – on private property or in a public recreation area with the permission of the owner or lessor. The statute already exempts beer.

Ducey’s action removes a potential hurdle for Mark Phillips, owner of Lipsmark LLC, who wants to start selling the powder in Arizona.

He got the required federal go-ahead last month. Now he needs clearance from state liquor authorities to begin manufacturing it at his facility in Tempe.

Phillips won’t say how the product is made. But what comes out of the process are envelopes of powder which, when mixed with water, create five different types of drinks: rum, vodka, margaritas, cosmopolitans and something called a “lemon drop.”

–Includes information from Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services

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